The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Kwazulu-Natal is in the process of removing posters in KZN, which had “inadvertently caused offence” the party announced on Thursday.

The controversial DA posters which were placed together  on street poles in Phoenix read “The ANC called you Racists” and “The DA calls your Heroes”.

DA KZN chairperson and MPL Dean Macpherson said that the posters had been erected as a “sincere” attempt to acknowledge the plight of citizens who had been left alone to defend themselves during the recent civil unrest.  A total of 36 people were killed during the unrest in Phoenix in mid-July.

“In my sincere effort to honour the bravery and heroism of law abiding citizens who were left to fend for themselves during the July riots and insurrections, the posters have regretfully caused hurt to some people. I am deeply sorry and apologise for this,” Macpherson said.

“As these posters were unsanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership, I am arranging the removal of these posters today,” he said.

“Sometimes in politics our words may be poorly chosen, but I wish to assure the public, without contradiction, that my intentions are always sincere. My intended message was that in the massive void created by a failing state, unable to secure South Africans’ homes and businesses during the riots, some heroic residents were forced to stand up and do what the police and army were unable to do,” MacPherson said.

He said this action had to allegations of racism by the ANC.

“At no point did I, nor the DA, and at no point would I or the DA ever condone or support those who undertook vigilante actions. In fact, I once again condemn those who undertook vigilante actions which cost lives and damage to property,” MacPherson said.

He added that the DA was a party that stood for “non-racialism and it was never my intention to cause any other perception”.

“I remain steadfastly committed to all people in South Africa, united in our diversity,” he said.

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